Four Pinellas County baseball teams headed into the first round of regional play as district champions: Dunedin, Osceola, Calvary Christian and Northside Christian each won titles to earn home games in the region quarterfinals.
Perhaps no district final meant more than Osceola’s 7-1 defeat of crosstown rival Seminole.
“A lot of the kids have grown up together,” said Osceola coach Stefan Futch, who earlier this season notched his 400th career win. “They’re all friends, but there are some bragging rights. You want to beat the team on the other side of the river.”
In the Class 5A, District 10 final, Seminole entered that game with 13-1 mark in its previous 14 games. Osceola had its own impressive run with eight wins in nine games.
Osceola relied on three pitchers — Sean Newton, Noah Ray and Benjamin Urdiales — who combined for a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
At the plate, Vince Ferell went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, Nolan Fitzpatrick had two hits and Richard Stegbauer drove in a pair of runs.
Dunedin got a lopsided 14-0 win over Tarpon Springs in 4A-11. Coming off back-to-back state semifinal appearances, the Falcons struggled down the stretch and began the district tournament with three consecutive losses.
Then came the turnaround. Dunedin defeated Anclote 12-0 in a district semifinal and combined with its victory over the Spongers scored 26 runs in two games.
In the district title game, Sammy Mummau doubled, tripled and had three RBIs and three runs scored. Andres Cortes had a triple with four RBIs and Roc Helton drove in a run and scored one for the Falcons. Trey Beard, Brandon Kallas and Slayde Kizinger shared a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts.
Calvary Christian edged Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 1-0 in the 3A-6 title game.
The Warriors won a pitching duel behind Landen Maroudis, who allowed two hits and fanned 13. Reliever Hunter Dietz struck out six. Maroudis had two hits and Alex Monile scored the lone run.
In 2A-9, Northside Christian shut out Keswick Christian 3-0 with solid pitching from Ronald Causby, who allowed just one hit with eight strikeouts, and Andreas Alvarez, who added four strikeouts. Andrew Williamson belted a home run and had two RBIs for the Mustangs.
In 6A-10, East Lake lost a heartbreaker, 3-2 to defending state semifinalist Sickles. The Eagles had won 12 straight games, a run that included eight shutouts, but went against a team riding a 16-game winning streak.